Jigsaw manufacturers see upsurge in business

Orders for puzzles have surged as adults and children spend more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic, according to manufacturers.

Firms are reporting sales increases of over 150% as people stay at home during the countrywide lockdown.

With people restricted on when they can leave their homes, they have more time on their hands to do things like puzzles.

Puzzle manufacturers, like JHG Jigsaws Ltd in Dorset, have seen a surge in busines (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Puzzle manufacturers, like JHG Jigsaws Ltd in Dorset, have seen a surge in busines (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Julie Wilkins, of Dorset-based JHG Puzzles, said: “It’s manic and we’ve been inundated. Business is up about 75% and it’s beaten Christmas.

“I’ve been flabbergasted by the response. We are very, very busy with a full order book. My mail order has gone off the scale.

“I thought originally it was just Mother’s Day but that wasn’t the case. I’ve had days where I’ve been struggling to keep up.

“We have been very busy and a lot of our customers are staying very loyal to us.”

Mrs Wilkins added: “People say that puzzles are very good for mental health and people are enjoying them once again, which is lovely.

“Jigsaw puzzles seem to be the ‘in thing’ to go to at the moment. They have never really gone out of style but they have gone out of fashion.

“There has always been a real loyal following. People find them relaxing and they are good for dexterity and hand and eye coordination.”

Bespoke puzzles are proving popular (Andrew Matthews/PA).
Bespoke puzzles are proving popular (Andrew Matthews/PA).

At the Malmesbury-based Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Company, sales have rocketed in both the US and UK in recent days.

Managing director Sarah Watson said: “Sales have gone through the roof. In the UK they have gone up 150%. The massive increase in sales kind of caught us out.

“What we’ve noticed is that the puzzles that are being purchased more are the larger ones – the 1,000-piece puzzles. Mostly this time of the year we would be selling 250-piece puzzles.

“We are struggling to keep up with demand without anyone off ill. Where we might struggle is if our production staff or dispatch staff are off ill or self-isolating.”

Devon-based Map Marketing has seen a 210% rise in orders during March compared to last year.

The firm, which trades online as All Jigsaw Puzzles, said it had also seen a rise in engagement on social media because of the Covid-19 crisis.